Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

Travel and Exploration from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Bestebreutje141

Travel and Exploration from Bestebreurtje Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books is entitled Travel & Exploration Including Russia. Actually, it includes a lot more than just Russia. Those living in North America will find a surprising number of books relating to their homeland from this Dutch bookseller. Other books cover journeys to Asia, Africa and South America. Travels of just about any sort can be found in this catalogue. Here are a few samples, with the caveat that we have focused on American material as this writer is far more comfortable describing material written in English than in Dutch.

Item 11 is one of the first comprehensive looks at the American Southwest after the Mexican cession: The Silver Country; or, The Great Southwest. A Review of the Mineral and Other Wealth, the Attractions and Material Development of the Former Kingdom of New Spain... by Alexander Anderson, published in 1877. Anderson focused on silver and mining in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado and Utah, either captured during the Mexican War or obtained as a result of the Gadsden Purchase, though it includes other material such as a description of cattle in Texas. Priced at €175 (euros, or approximately $213 in U.S. dollars).

Next we have a couple of old books about America's Indians, though these titles are not without their critics. Item 47 is The Indian Races of North and South America; comprising An Account of the principal Aboriginal Races... by Charles de Wolf Brownell, published in 1853. It describes numerous tribes, their chiefs, customs, etc., and relations with European settlers. The title states the illustrations "executed in the best style of the art, by the first artists in America." However, Thomas Field, in his 1873 Indian bibliography, counters, "The last half of the title-page must have been written by the publisher, and the illustrations drawn by his infant son, as the Preface and Text indicate too respectable a mind to have concocted such a farrago, involving at least half a dozen falsehoods regarding the plates, which are the most tawdry and offensive daubs." €350 (US $427).

Next we look at the Indian work of William V. Moore (real name John Frost): Indian Wars of the United States, from the Discovery to the Present Time... published circa 1850. For this one, we go to Joseph Sabin's bibliography for the appropriate quote: "This is the first work of its prolific author, if such a term can be applied to a notorious pilferer." Item 235. €225 (US $274).

Robert Ker Porter was an artist, writer, traveler, diplomat and even an accomplished horseman. He was also evidently a very likable fellow, being popular with his associates wherever he traveled. In 1805, he traveled to Russia to serve as an artist for the Czar, his adventures being the source for his book Travelling sketches in Russia and Sweden during the years 1805...1808. While there, he won the heart of a princess. He returned in 1812 to marry his princess. Along the way, he was knighted in Russia and Sweden, and welcomed into an order by a Persian monarch. As well as writing about Russia, he wrote books about Sweden, Spain and Persia, and served as British consul to Venezuela. Item 264 is an 1813 second edition of this book. €2,250 (US $2,755).

Here is a book that suddenly sounds timely, though not for positive reasons. It's the 1943 book The Bayous of Louisiana, inscribed by the author, Harnett Kane. I won't say those were simpler times, as the book was published during the middle of the Second World War, but at least they didn't have to worry about oil in the bayous back then. Item 171. €35 (US $42).

Item 202 is an unusual piece of Americana: Reis door de Vereenigde Staten van Noord-Amerika in de jaren 1824 en 1825, door den Generaal Lafayette. This is the rare Dutch translation of Frenchman Auguste Levasseur's account of General Lafayette's return to America almost half a century after the Revolution. Lafayette, the young French officer who came to America and did so much to help that nation's revolution, soon returned to his native France. He was imprisoned and almost executed during France's revolution, but years later, returned to local politics to become a legislator and strong voice for democratic reforms. In 1824, after his long absence, Lafayette returned to America for a sort of farewell tour. He visited all of the then 24 states, where he was constantly received by huge, adoring crowds, along with virtually all of America's important leaders. That a Dutch language edition of Lafayette's private secretary's account of the Frenchman's visit to America was printed is something of a surprise, but here it is. €450 (US $550).

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books may be reached at +31 (0)347 322 548 or info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com. Their website is www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions